Spring jazz festival blooms in Bulawayo

HARARE - The 2012 Spring jazz festival set the City of Kings ablaze on Thursday night as various jazz ensembles performed at the 8th edition of the Intwasa Festival of Arts.

Jazz lovers got a rare treat as they watched their favourite artistes belting it out live on stage.

Fans could not help but appreciate various acts through singing along and dancing to exquisite jazz from their Motherland.

The Spring jazz festival was indeed the talk of the town as revellers thronged the Rainbow Hotel to catch a glimpse of their favourite artistes Dudu Manhenga and Alexio Kawara lined up to perform on stage.

The Cool Crooners could not perform due to other commitments and were replaced by an upcoming band called The Outfit.

The little known group put up a splendid performance churning out yesteryear jazz songs and jams from their upcoming album.

As the crowd’s patience was being tested due to curiosity of seeing Dudu Manhenga, Willis Wattafi of the “Wanga” fame took to the stage to assist the young lads much to the delight of the fans.

Wattafi told the Daily News he had come to Intwasa to support the young artistes.

“I believe in the cause of Intwasa and will help fight for it which is to see the development of art,” Wattafi said.

Dudu Manhenga and the Color Blu put on a spell binding performance; living up to her billing as she serenaded her fans with cool jazz music.

Dudu who was born and raised in Bulawayo was excited at her home coming as the main act at the festival.

“I am also thrilled to see the dream of Intwasa come true as a home grown festival and we will continue to support it.

‘‘The reception from my fans was out of this world such that I wanted to remain on stage. I love the people of Bulawayo and I am glad to be home,”Manhenga said.

Commenting on a trend among the city’s talented artistes who migrate instead of remaining in Bulawayo, Manhenga defended herself and her fellow musicians saying people should go where they can be sustained.

“Artistes want to be anything that they can be and go anywhere they want to go. So one can not stay in a city where they cannot be sustained. The battle is not how Bulawayo can retain its own talent, but artistes should ensure that when they go elsewhere they help in the development of their societies,” Manhenga said.

The songstress who performed alongside her husband churned out her hit songs and gave the fans a teaser from her forthcoming album entitled Ngibheka.

Alexio Kawara of the Shaina fame who brought down the curtain for the night showed Bulawayo fans that his fame was no fluke, strutting out hits from his previous albums such as Musikana Akanaka and Shaina to the delight of the fans that had waited for a long time for him to get on stage.

It seemed as if female revellers adored the person of Kawara whose voice and stage presence would charm any lady, though he is married.

Before going on stage the Daily News caught up with the singer who said he was thrilled with the invitation and would give his best short. “It is my first time to perform in Bulawayo at such a big jazz festival. First impressions matter and I will do my best and I hope the fans will like me,”Kawara said.

Kawara belted it out in style headlining his act with a piece of Leonard Dembo’s Chitekete.

The Spring jazz festival will go down memory lane as one of the best jazz shows that the city has ever hosted. - Entertainment Writer

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